The leader of the Catholic Church in Bavaria has expressed “deep shame” for cases of sexual molestation that have shaken the home region of Pope Benedict XVI, and said he was in favor of changing German law so that church officials would have a greater duty to report suspected child abuse to prosecutors. But in an often combative exchange with reporters at a hilltop pilgrimage site north of Nuremberg, the church official, Archbishop Reinhard Marx, defended the overall integrity of the church and said it would never be possible to ensure there is no abuse. The archbishop’s comments came after revelations last week that a priest in the Archdiocese of Munich and Freising who was accused of molesting boys was allowed to continue working with children, even after being convicted of abuse. He was suspended from duty only this week as scrutiny of the case grew amid questions over the role Benedict had played in its handling in 1980, when he led the archdiocese. (New York Times)

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